Guardiola hails Tuchel ahead of DFB-Pokal showdown

The Bayern Munich manager has credited his Borussia Dortmund counterpart as being a fellow football obsessive ahead of Saturday's showpiece final at Berlin's Olympiastadion

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola has praised opposite number Thomas Tuchel ahead of Saturday's DFB-Pokal final against Borussia Dortmund.

Guardiola is preparing for his final game in charge of Bayern ahead of his summer move to Manchester City but standing in the way of him delivering one final trophy for the Bavarians is Tuchel, who has shone in his maiden campaign with Dortmund.

Tuchel replaced Jurgen Klopp at the BVB helm last summer and launched a title charge which produced a 78-point haul and a second-place finish behind Guardiola's Bayern this season, as well as a spot in the Pokal final.

And Guardiola has lauded Tuchel as an “excellent coach” in the build up to the mouth-watering showdown between Germany's two strongest clubs.

"Thomas lives football," Guardiola told the DFB's official website "He has this passion, this desire to want to know everything, to get better. 

"He's 24 hours a day thinking about his team, the opponents, football generally. I like that about him.

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"Yes and no [it surprised me how well he did this season]. No, because I knew what an excellent coach Thomas was. Yes, because he has incredible speed in how he affects the game of Borussia Dortmund. BVB has played a fantastic season.

"Thomas and I understand each other. We have the same passion for the game.

"Any team that has reached the final, has earned it. A final between Bayern and Dortmund has an emotional reach all over Germany. The duel is very, very intense and observed worldwide."

Guardiola, who guided Bayern to Pokal glory at the expense of Dortmund in 2014, says the tournament has won a special place in his affections.

"In Spain we have a different system, a round of the [Copa del Rey] with home and away legs,” he added.

"That is actually better for the strong teams and a second division or an amateur team have little chance. I like the way the Pokal is played in Germany, there is more excitement and also often surprises.

"It was incredible [in 2014]. Hermann Gerland, my assistant coach, had raved to me all year of this great atmosphere at the final in Berlin. 

"When we were there, I realised what he meant. It is a great experience for me, for both teams and the football fans in Germany.

"It could have been a slightly easier farewell for us but I look forward to this game; we all look forward. It will be a fantastic final between two great clubs."